Turkish Grand Prix
Formula 1 will return to Istanbul for the Turkish Grand Prix on November 15th. In 2011 the F1 cars drove on the circuit for the last time, which, like many other circuits, was designed by Hermann Tilke.
The Grand Prix of Turkey in 2020
The coronavirus has changed a lot to Formula 1 in 2020. Not only was it postponed throughout the season, but many races were even cancelled altogether due to the virus. Formula 1 still wants to set up a full calendar in 2020, and this will result in a number of new circuits. For example, Formula 1 has already added Portimao, Mugello and Imola and is now also going to Istanbul.
Where Portimao and Mugello are new on the F1 calendar, this is not the case for Istanbul and Imola. The GP of Turkey was first seen in 2005 and was won by Kimi Raikkonen. The Istanbul Park Circuit quickly became popular with the drivers because of the unique cornering combinations and especially the five-corner combination (turn 8).
In addition to these unique corners, the Istanbul Circuit is also one of the few circuits that goes counter-clockwise. Only Interlagos (Brazil), Marina Bay (Singapore) and the Yas Marina Circuit (Abu Dhabi) have a similar layout of the current calendar.
What does the weekend in Istanbul look like?
As the Grand Prix of Turkey can be seen as a European race, we can assume that the European times will be used. This would mean that the first free practice will start at 11:00 and the qualifying and race will start at 15:00 and 15:10 (CET) respectively.
Who are the favourites in Turkey?
There are not many drivers from the current field who have raced on the Istanbul circuit, let alone won. Kimi Raikkonen was the first winner of the Turkish Grand Prix in 2005, but does not seem to be able to repeat this trick in his Alfa Romeo in 2020. The record holder Felipe Massa is no longer present in Formula 1. The Brazilian won three times in Turkey and did so consecutively in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
After Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have also won in Turkey. The fast corners on the track alternate with slower corners and there is plenty of opportunity to overtake. With victories for Brawn, Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull Racing, not one team seems to be the clear history favorite.